© Stuff.co.nzA freight truck was hit head-on and ended up on a railway track beside the highway.
Two Australia women have been killed in New Zealand after their car crossed onto the wrong side of the road and collided head-on with a truck.
The two women, aged in their 50s and who had only just arrived in the country, were travelling south in a rental car when they veered into the path of an oncoming TNL Freighting truck on State Highway 1, north of the Rakaia River on New Zealand's South Island, yesterday.
The crash sent the truck careening across the road, ploughing through a fence on a grass verge and tipping onto its side on nearby railway tracks.
The truck driver was shaken but uninjured, while seven other people suffered minor injuries, including four people in another car that was hit by debris.
The crash also cut power to eight nearby properties and closed the road and railway tracks for several hours.
The two women who died in the crash had landed in Christchurch that morning before taking the rental car south.
A police spokesman said officers would look at fatigue as a possible cause of the crash.
The relatively straight highway, which bends slightly near the small settlement of Bankside, was the scene of a similar fatal incident in 2017.
Two tourists driving a Jucy? rental campervan were killed when they crossed the centre line and collided head-on with a ute. Driver inattention and fatigue were also possible factors in that crash.
TIL Freight South Island general manager Richard Mears said although the truck driver was "physically fine", he had suffered some emotional trauma from the crash.
"TIL Freight is providing full support and counselling to assist him through this tragic situation. We are focused on ensuring his well being is first and foremost in the weeks and or months ahead."
Mr Mears provided his condolences to those involved in the "tragic event".
This story originally appeared on stuff.co.nz and has been republished with permission